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Review: Radiohead Begins 2017 North American Tour in Miami

 

Photo by Ron Elkman. To see more images from the Radiohead concert, visit our concert gallery here


Review by Mandy Wynne

After a five-year absence, Radiohead returned to South Florida Thursday night for an explosive first night of its nine-venue, sold-out 2017 “Moon Shaped Pool” tour. Fans at the American Airlines Arena were treated to a diverse 24-song set list, spanning more than two hours and several eras of the band’s music.

Opening with the beautifully minimalistic intermingling chords of “Daydreaming,” mixed with lead vocalist Thom Yorke’s haunted vocals and an impressive display of laser lights, the group instantly compelled the audience into a hypnotic, almost dream-like state. The classical elements on “Desert Island Disk” weaved wonderfully between the electrical undertones of lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood’s guitar. The up-tempo beats of “Ful Stop” brought the masses to their feet to dance to the electronic beat.

Expecting “no surprises,” there were plenty from the experimental alternative rock band—comprising vocalist Thom Yorke, lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, guitarist Ed O’Brien, bassist Colin Greenwood and drummer Phil Selway—as it covered an expansive array of tracks from seven of its nine studio albums. “The Tourist,” which was last performed live in 2008, brought massive cheers from the audience and enveloped the stadium in warm and fuzzy nostalgia.

Throughout the show, Yorke & Co. managed to alter the atmosphere in an almost switch-like fashion. Moments of surreal, trance-like states evolved into raucous energetic thrashings in a second, as the tempo increased along with the front man’s notorious spasmodic movements.

Fascinating throughout the show was the figure to the right. Hidden behind a mane of dark hair, almost animated, the pounding arms of Jonny Greenwood could be seen as he hammered away at his guitar, keyboard or whatever instrument he decided to play throughout the night.

Elaborate light displays and brightly-colored lasers combined with impressive design elements were a visual feast as the Oxford band delighted the crowd with old favorites including “Airbag,” “Let Down,” and “Climbing Up the Walls” from Ok Computer. Fans of the 2007 release, “In Rainbows,” were ecstatic to hear heart-warming renditions of “All I Need,” “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” “Nude” and “Reckoner.”

During the second encore, the eerie “You and Whose Army?” was accompanied by Yorke’s piano and nothing but a live feed of his eyeball on the projector, enhancing the creepiness.

From melancholic and mellow, to mystical and mayhem— this seemed to be the theme for most of the performance, much like all of Radiohead’s studio releases.